10 Things I'd Rather Download than your 2MB Web Page

Websites are getting extra beefy and clunky these days. The new average size of a single web page in 2014 is just under 2MB. Like 200× bigger than, ya know, back in the day. That's a big honkin' web page; most of which is big pictures, custom fonts, and carousels.

I think I can do better with any one of these 10 things:

  1. 3 eBooks of any Terry Pratchett Discworld novel

  2. 4 funny cat videos from Vime (OK, they probably won't be that funny*)

  3. A radio-quality MP3 of almost any non-remix version of any song by Beck

  4. A file big enough to break the Atom editor

  5. A nice retina photo of my dog for my laptop background

  6. Two copies of a file with info about all the zip codes in the USA (the list is less than 1MB zipped)

  7. 30 old school Nintendo® games (ROM sizes are usually

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Your Website is Too Damn Big

According to HTTP Archive, websites are approaching an average of 2MB per page. That's nearly double the average from just two years ago. I have some ideas why and how you can fix it.

Aug 2012 vs. Aug 2014

Type20122014Change
HTML48K58K+21%
JavaScript217K295K+35%
CSS39K54K+38%
Images694K1176K+69%
Other *18K131K+627%
Total1,105K1,855K+68%

* Custom fonts and vector icons seem to be most of "Other"

But what's to blame?

The three bigges are:

  • Images: most likely due to retina displays, web developers are under more pressure than ever to keep the eye candy pretty at an additional average cost of nearly 500K per page since 2012.

  • Custom fonts & vector icons: also due to retina displays (and to a lesser extent mobile devices), these techniques (e.g. icoMoon and SVG glyphs) are super cool but

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